I have another favorite place that brings a smile to my face. There's a little cafe in a town nearby. It is called Isabelle's. The other day Mom, our friend Evelyn and I stopped off there on our "every two week grocery day". When you step into Isabelle's it just brings a smile to your face. I thought about it while sitting there; most of the visitors are "regulars" whose black and white framed pictures hang on the walls. Bev greets you from behind the counter and Robin is almost always our waitress. Bev's hubby, Bob, makes the BEST pie crusts (because he uses lard, of course). Robin asks, "what kind of pie do you ladies want me to set aside for you today?" She's thoughtful that way, and knows us pretty well too! Friday she brought out three pieces of strawberry rhubarb, that sat at the end of the table until we were ready for them. Years ago, my friend Debbie and I went there for the first time. We just adored the sunflowers and pansies (her favorite), each table having a different old-fashioned set of salt and pepper shakes. We decided that it should be called "Best Friends Cafe" or "Girlfriends" - but Isabelle's is cute too.
As we enjoyed our grilled cheese with ham and tomato, I noticed that most everyone was smiling and laughing. As folks came through the door, they would glance around and make eye contact and smile, as did we, saying, "hi" or just nodding a hello. In a place like this you just begin to feel that you know everyone. It's a truly 'homey' atmosphere. For some reason this time it made more of an impression upon me as usual. Anyone traveling along Route 5 who has stopped in at Isabelle's probably knows what I mean.
When I was first married I used to hate to travel to new places. I grew up with a 'nervous stomach' and it crippled me for years. I hated to go to even FUN things, like the birthday party of a friend (though I loved having my own birthday parties, selfish); early school days were a dire problem. This followed me even into my teen years (thankfully, I grew to really love school). When first married I was afraid to go on trips. Something about getting away from home made me very nervous. Poor Syd, and he was so patient. It wasn't until about our second year of marriage (I was 20 years old) that I let the Lord really take control of this. The verse, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear." was a wonderful help to me. Our pastor reminded me that when I realize how much God loves me I need not fear anything that comes in the path. Our loving Lord will take care of whatever concerns His children. As Syd and I were away for a weekend, soon after, I settled it with the Lord. When I am with my husband and my Lord, I am at 'home'. This world is only my temporary home until the Lord brings me to my permanent, heavenly one. It is amazing the transformation when we finally give something over to God! New situations and settings actually thrill me now and I only get 'homesick' when Syd's away. Driving in the snow, which used to make my stomach churn, is like going sledding to me now. The Lord is what makes us "at home". He is our dwelling place!!
These thoughts of home bring the greatest smile of all!
I hope you know the love of this precious Lord. God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins; even when we were His enemies (Romans 5:8). With the Lord is the happiest place of all! It brings a smile to the face and a song on the lips.